Silver Works: Argentum

Dancers, Gymnasts and Aerialists as Fluid Yet Metallic Statues

‘I found that people who work using their body really appreciate when a photographer can capture their skills,’ photographer Guido Argentini told The Plus. Speaking about Argentum, a photography, documentary and book project, he told us that it was always ‘a collaboration between me and my subjects.’

Starting back in 1995, the project has spanned 8 years in production, during which he took several shoots over the years, developed the concept, and found the right models and props. The result is this stunning collection of more than 100 photographs; transforming models, dancers, gymnasts and aerialists into metallic statues. The images depict new beings that became almost liquid like under the studio lights.

We spoke flowers, paint and hanging upside down with Guido:

The Plus: Your photography centers a lot on women and flowers.
Guido Argentini:
Both women and flowers are expressions of beauty, and beauty suffers fragility towards the pass of time. Photography is a vain attempt to stop the passing of time.

TP: How did you select which models you would use? What did you want to see in them?
The models for this project were all dancers, gymnasts and aerialists. I could not use “regular” models for this series of photographs. I needed women and men that could move and become living statues. Regular models cannot do the extreme poses I wanted.

TP: What did you use to paint the models?
The make up is oil based: very easy to apply, not so easy to remove. Perfectly safe for the models because it is body make up, not real paint. You can paint the full body without damaging the skin. This make up is no longer produced.

TP: The most memorable shooting moment?
All shoots have good and bad moments. What is important is the actual result, the photographs that people can see. One very great moment was to see three people hanging at the same time upside-down from the hoops suspended with chains. You can see footage of this in my film “ARGENTUM”.

TP: What’s your next project, if you don’t mind to share with us a little bit?
My next book is a totally different project. It is all shot in color, more storytelling, more cinematic, made with diptychs, two photographs together; one of a woman and one of a landscape or still life.


Watch the trailer to find more about Guido’s project.